I read once that the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were so excited on the day when they finally succeeded in keeping their homemade airplane in the air that they rushed a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio, telling of this great accomplishment. This was the message in their telegram to their sister on December 17,1903: "First sustained flight today, fifty-nine seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas." Upon receiving the news the sister was so excited about the news that she rushed to the newspaper office and gave the telegram to the editor The next morning the newspaper headline read, "Popular Local Bicycle Merchants To Be Home For Holidays." One of the greatest stories of the twentieth century was missed because an editor missed the point. He could only see that two prominent residents would be coming home for the holidays. He did not not see that the news really meant that men could now fly.
Is it not the same with the world today? Did John not write: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:4) and “He came unto His own, and His own received him not.”? (John 1:11) Is it not obvious to you that, to many people, Christmas only means time off from work, delicious foods and goodies, lights, trees, decorations and huge sales everywhere? All these things are great. I enjoy them; I hope you do too. However, these are only fringe benefits and part of a greater package. I love this line from an old popular Christmas song: “And man will live forevermore because of Christmas Day.” You see, Jesus could not have eventually gone to the cross to save us from sin, had he not first been born. Apart from living forever, this is what Jesus’ birth also meant: No longer did people have to live a life without hope; lost sinners could be saved, forgiven, redeemed and transformed. If that is not something to rejoice about; if that is not enough to fill our hearts with comfort and joy, I don’t know what is.
One more thing: As great as the news was for the Wright brothers’ sister, I wonder if she was more excited that they had become the inventors of flight or that they would be coming home for Christmas. What excites you more about Christmas? What means more to you: the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem, or the day He was born in your heart?